Blizzard has announced they are removing the gold and real money auction house feature from Diablo 3. The system, which allows players to sell in-game items to other players, will be completely shut down as of March 18, 2014.
In a statement signed by “The Diablo III team,” the Diablo 3 auction house was described as a distraction from the core game principles:
When we initially designed and implemented the auction house system, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But after much review and player feedback, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo’s core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot.
Auction houses are a popular feature of MMOs, allowing players to sell off rare and powerful items, as well as more common ones, while giving the game maker some control in policing the system to make sure players don’t get cheated.